Germany Sees Benedict XVI Differently Now
Says Berlin-based Journalist Vicente Poveda
ROME, MAY 4, 2006 (Zenit.org).- "Oh, mein Gott!" was the front-page headline of the German newspaper Die Tageszeitung the day after Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger's election as Pope.
A year after that negatively charged exclamation, the headlines in the Holy Father's native country are highlighting the "beneficial" effect of the election of a German Pontiff.
There seems to be a rebirth of the faith in Germany, some observers say. The number of students of theology and of adult baptisms is increasing, as is that of Catholics returning to the Church.
Meanwhile, the number of those leaving the Church is decreasing, reveals a study carried out by Vicente Poveda Soler, correspondent of the main German news agency, Deutsche Presse-Agentur (DPA).
Poveda explained during the fifth Professional Seminar of the Church's Communication Offices, held at the University of the Holy Cross in Rome from April 27-29, that "the main criticisms of Ratzinger were always in Germany."
But since his election to the papacy, "a new approach has been generated toward the figure of the Pontiff," said Poveda.
Benedict XVI's papacy "has been amply analyzed by the press as an important step in the total rehabilitation of the country 60 years after the liberation of Auschwitz, Hitler's suicide and the end of World War II," said the journalist.
He gave numerous examples to illustrate this change. The German Language Society voted the phrase "Somos Papa" as the second most important expression of the year 2005, only surpassed by "Bundeskanzlerin," the feminine for "federal chancellor," after Angela Merkel's election.
The DPA's Spanish correspondent in Berlin pointed out that "the most important politicians of the country, from Merkel to President Horst Köhler and the former Chancellor Gerhard Schröder, spoke of their 'pride' over Ratzinger's election, despite the fact all of them are Protestants."
Moreover, Poveda observed that "the country's most popular television presenters, such as Harald Schmidt and Stefan Raab, acknowledge they read the Pope's works, whose sales took off after his election."
Poveda, who has a degree in institutional communication from the German Academy of Public Relations in Frankfurt, said that before there was a "negative environment against the official Church -- 'Amtskirche' -- that is, 'Rome,'" and it is due to a "strong media presence of Catholic critics: the Wir Sind Kirche group, Hans Küng and Eugen Drewermann."
The most significant change is that the Pope has passed from being regarded as "guardian of the faith" to "pastor."...
read full story here
It's official. The Catholic Knight is retired. I'm hanging up the helmet and passing the torch. There will be no more articles, no more commentaries, no more calls to action. THIS BLOG IS CLOSED. I've spent a very long time thinking about this, I believe the time has come, and is a bit overdue. I want to thank my readers for everything, but most especially for your encouragement and your willingness to go out there and fight the good fight. So, that being the case, I've spend the last several weeks looking for bloggers who are fairly active, and best represent something akin to the way I think and what I believe. I recommend the following blogs for my readers to bookmark and check on regularly. Pick one as your favourite, or pick them all. They are all great.....
Friday, May 5, 2006
Could Germany Save Europe?
THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: In a previous story (read here), I documented how virtually all of western Europe has fallen into a post-Christian era. The effects of this have been a negative population growth, and a growing interest among European youths in the occult and Islam. Current statistical analysis indicate that if things don't change soon, all of Europe will be Islamic by the year 2050. Now comes this story from Zenit. It would appear that something of a Christian revival is going on in Germany ever since the pope's visit in 2005. My question is this. If this rebirth of German Christianity takes off, and actually becomes a full-scale revival of traditional German Catholicism, could a Catholic Germany actually save Europe? People in the old country are starting to refer to Pope Benedict's election as "healing" and "rehabilitating" to Germany's national identity, which has been scarred by two world wars in the 20th century. Now some are starting to look to a revived Christian Germany as a nation that can lead the way for Europe in the 21st century. To me that almost sounds providential. Isn't that how God usually works?